China is still in the process of urbanization, with large demand of steel and other construction material, making it unrealistic to widely promote electric-arc-furnace (EAF) route steelmaking, Lou Jiwei, the former finance minister, said in an on-line forum held late August.
The country remains far from reaching the peak of steel consumption, while a lack of scrap steel supplies would defer the shift from blast furnaces-basic oxygen furnace (BF-BOF) route to the EAF route that uses the material as its basic feedstock, Lou said in the ESG Global Leaders Summit.
BF-BOF route, which uses iron ore and coke, produced nearly 90% of the country's total steel in 2019, while EAF route contributed only around 10%.
With the improvement in steel-making casting technology, China's steel yield significantly increased, while the volume of self-produced scrap steel dropped. This, coupled with long depreciation time span, as most steel is used for construction, raised the demand for imports.
China has greenlighted the imports of high-quality recycled steel scrap since this year. The country imported 420,500 tonnes of recycled steel during January-July this year, with July intakes rising 14.76% from the preceding month to 93,200 tonnes, customs data showed.
(Writing by Emma Yang Editing by Tammy Yang)
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